A waiver of Seward County’s sanitation codes is one of the items on the agenda for tonight’s regular commission meeting.
Information in the packet indicates the item is to determine if the commission will allow a septic system to remain in use when city sewer is available within 30 feet of the property line.
The information went on to say the sewer system is less than 300 feet from the residence, and the septic system is located in a flood hazard area. Seward County Planning and Zoning Administrator Marcie Weatherly said county sanitation code requires connection to public sewer if it is available within 400 feet of a lot or tract. Furthermore, Liberal city ordinance prohibits maintaining septic tanks used for the disposal of wastewater within the city.
In an analysis of the request, Weatherly said Stuckey’s situation is not a unique one.
“The neighboring property to the east was also previously served by a septic system and is now connected to city sewer,” Weatherly said. “Both city and county codes require connection to public sewer services when available.”
Weatherly added granting the waiver may cause environmental impacts on the neighboring property with potential health hazards.“An applicant for a waiver must show unnecessary hardship,” she said. “The hardship must be more than mere inconvenience or a preference for a more lenient standard. Cost of compliance may be a factor, but cost is not determinative. The applicant must show substantial and undue nature of that additional cost as compared to others subject to the same restriction.”
Weatherly did say the property and the septic system are located in a flood hazard area.
“The property is also served by a private water well,” she said. “This can adversely affect the public health in a flood event.”
Weatherly went on to say Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations and local regulations do not permit septic tanks to be located in the flood hazard area due to the possible hazards.
Weatherly concluded her analysis by saying the intent of the regulations is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.
“Allowing a septic tank to remain in the flood hazard area when city sewer is available within 300 feet is an unnecessary risk to the health, safety and welfare of the public,” she said.
(Read more: Liberal Leader & Times)